Fire destroys home of Quad City veteran battling liver cancer

A Quad City war veteran with liver cancer is starting over, with his family, after losing everything in an overnight fire.

“It’s devastating. Everything we own is gone. Everything,” said Randy Morgan of Milan.  He has lived in the home with his wife, Theresa, and their family, for 20 years.

The fire started Sunday night, June 22, 2014 around 9:30 p.m. at the home on Big Island.  It took crews nearly six hours to put out the fire. Firefighters returned for a short time Monday after hot spots flared up again.

Theresa Morgan says she noticed a burning smell Sunday night, and went downstairs to find the house filled with black smoke.

“I ran back upstairs and grabbed my 4-year-old grandson and a blanket, and I told my husband, ‘Come on! Get out! The house is on fire, grab your stuff and let’s go!’” she said.

But Randy Morgan, a Vietnam veteran with liver cancer, wasn’t leaving without a fight.

“(I was) trying to get my medicine and the stuff I needed. And my wife’s going crazy, saying, ‘get out.’ So I got out, and everything burned up. Everything’s gone. My son, he is in the Army. All his stuff is gone, too. All my albums, family pictures.  Gone,” Morgan said.

The Morgans rented the home.

They say the fire started in the garage, and may have been sparked by an electrical problem, but they are just grateful everyone escaped.

“I’m just thankful we all got out alive, everything else can be replaced,” Theresa Morgan said.

Randy Morgan, who served two tours in Vietnam, had already contacted the VA in Bettendorf to arrange for new medicine.

“I am a Marine.  Once a Marine, always a Marine.  Adapt and overcome. That’s the motto,” he said.

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